Some Ships Bypassing Turkey's Kusadasi

August 10, 2005

Kusadasi, the Turkish port of call best known for Ephesus -- the awe-inspiring ancient city visited, in its heyday, by everyone from Alexander the Great to the Virgin Mary -- has succumbed to scattered bits of terrorist activity this summer. Most notably, a bomb that was placed on a mini-bus killed five people in mid-July, including two tourists.

As a result, some cruise lines are bypassing their scheduled calls.

Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas avoided Kusadasi on July 29, heading instead to Piraeus for an overnight there. Celebrity's Galaxy replaced its August 1 stop with a call at Katakalon, in Greece. Both ships are slated to return on August 22 -- and a Royal Caribbean spokesman says "at this time the matter is under consideration."

Princess has already made plans to skip Kusadasi on Friday, when Grand Princess was scheduled for a port call. The ship will instead head to Greece's Rhodes.

Ironically, Istanbul, which has been sporadically plagued with more incidences of terrorist activity over the past year, is not on any cruise lines' cancellation lists -- but way over on the east coast of Turkey, Oceania's Insignia did miss a stop at the port of Dikili while sailing a Black Sea cruise. According to a company spokesman, "We canceled the call due to concerns with the berth, terminal facilities and some surrounding areas. After the bombings in London and Turkey, we reassessed our port security requirements worldwide and found that those in Dikili did not meet our requirements." He adds, "Note, there was no security threat." Insignia instead headed to Mytilini on the Greek Isle of Lesbos.